Definition of consumptive in English:


Syllabification: con·sump·tive
Pronunciation: /kənˈsəm(p)tiv


  • 1 dated Affected with a wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis: from birth he was sickly and consumptive
    More example sentences
    • A dark gray complexion indicates prolonged stagnation of blood such as a consumptive disease with blood deficiency accompanied by menoplania or amenia.
    • It can also be used as an auxiliary treatment for consumptive disease, asthma and diabetes.
    • A fearless and ambitious entrepreneur named Nathan Cross moves with his consumptive wife and two sons to the little town of Defiance, Missouri in 1874.
  • 2chiefly • derogatory Of or relating to the using up of resources: tourism represents an insidious form of consumptive activity
    More example sentences
    • Allowing the state to steal from the wealthy alters the full range of productive and consumptive activities - generally for the worse.
    • However, each falls short of the type of provision necessary to allow the consumptive activity contemplated by the proposal.
    • And if climate scientists are right, the cause of our problems is manic, consumptive, fossil-fuel driven human activity.


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  • A person with a wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis.
    More example sentences
    • He sat behind a walnut desk and could treat every sickness you could name and plenty you couldn't; more impressively, he kept his consumptives alive each year.
    • She performs abortions in secret, supports suffrage, and caters to consumptives and TB sufferers when few other boarding-house establishments will take them.
    • But happily that doesn't mean that it or the hotel is full of spluttering Keatsian consumptives nor that the spa is especially clinical in feel.



More example sentences
  • A dairy cow can drink 20 gallons of water in a day, but only half is used consumptively in milk production.
  • And more people and businesses are drawing that water out consumptively, especially during the hot months.
  • This water is not consumptively used because it simply passes through on its journey to the Gulf of California.


mid 17th century: from medieval Latin consumptivus, from Latin consumpt- 'consumed', from the verb consumere (see consume).

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little